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Thread: 'Casefiles' Interspersed Through EF Narrative...?

  1. #1
    Alas, poor Yorick, he fed me 'nanas DavidBrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    London, UK

    'Casefiles' Interspersed Through EF Narrative...?

    Hi all,

    So, my mentor for back to me with the critiqued MS of the first Enigma Files book. Now, one of her little rules is that I'm not allowed to touch it for 3 days, just take the comments onboard, let then stew, then come back fighting.

    Which is fine, but her #1 suggestion - other than character improvements - was to add casefiles from the Enigma Files 'site', and scatter them throughout the narrative. These files would detail real-life accounts of paranormal phenomena, written in the 'fun but dry' style of Karl, and refer to things he'd actually mention in the book. For example, after the chapter in which Karl and Mason discuss poltergeists, telekinesis and screaming skulls, there would be a break in the story for the casefiles, going into slightly more detail and describing a real-life event or proven hoax. Then back to the story.

    I personally think it's a great idea: it gives both the EF and Karl more character as it would SHOW he knows what he's talking about, rather than just saying he has a wiki on weird stuff. It would also be a great way to establish time jumps, as by the time the reader returns to the narrative, it's the next day or later. Not to mention the strange, fascinating information kids at the target age should gobble up - let alone adults still missing the X-Files!

    But maybe I'm just blinded by excitement: what does everyone ELSE think? Does a book layout like this sound appealing? I know out would be slightly unique, but in a good way or bad one?


    Mr Stuffenfluff - My FIRST attempt at horror for over a decade. Feedback welcome!

    Authors warn me writing children's books is a lot of work - signings, school events, literary festivals, a blog, etc. I always reply "I WANT THAT!"

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  2. #2
    I aim to misbehave Myrealana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Denver, CO
    I think it sounds like a great idea.
    -- Myrea
    "When it comes down to it itís always, always you and the white page. At the end of the day if the page is blank, itís won. Donít let the page win."
    Alasdair Stewart

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW SheilaJG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Northern California
    I think it's a good idea, but you have to be careful not to slow down the narrative too much (in other words, don't get carried away). If you keep them brief, and get right back to the story, I think that would work really well. Especially when you mention paranormal phenomenon that is not so well-known.

    I love her advice to let the critique sit for a few days. It sounds like you got a really great mentor!

    Represented by Molly Ker Hawn of The Bent Agency

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW MsJudy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    It seems to me that if you feel excited by the idea, you should go for it. So far, trusting your own enthusiasm has served you well, hasn't it?
    represented by Jenny Bent of the Bent Agency. Most happy.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    I like it, but agree with Judy that you must make sure you don't interrupt the flow too much.

    I notice how many MG books do this. Breaking up the text is a huge thing, especially for more reluctant readers, often boys. Personally, I find it irritating, and so do my girls. But, my son likes stories broken up in this way. It has to be well done, as in, not making it feel disjointed.

    Some kids, and adults like me, tend to skip 'extras' like this, as we want to get on with the story. I assume that they won't be essential reading to make sense of the plot? I think that if you can do it so that the reader has the option of skipping on, it would work well.


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